College Football Notebook: Kiffin gets a shot in on Spurrier

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 20, 2008

Associated Press
The college football notebook …
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ó New Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin couldn’t resist making one little joke about Steve Spurrier. It comes with the territory as coach of the Volunteers.
The South Carolina coach, who had a history of making jokes at former Tennessee coach Phillip Fulmer’s expense, questioned earlier this month whether Kiffin contacted recruits before he had passed the NCAA test that allows him to do so.
Kiffin was asked Saturday during his second public appearance as Tennessee coach if he was worried about “ruffling a few feathers” in the Southeastern Conference coaching community.
He had this to say: “I’m not concerned about that. If Steve’s concerned about my test, I got a 39 out of 40. I’d like to see what he got.”
– KNOXVILLE, Tenn. ó Tennessee coach Lane Kiffin said his father, Monte Kiffin, chose to join his Volunteers’ staff because he believed it was a special place to coach.
Monte Kiffin announced last week that he would work with his son as Tennessee’s defensive coordinator after more than a decade in the same position with the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I don’t think this could have happened anywhere else because he never said, ‘I’m going with you wherever you go,”‘ Lane Kiffin said. “It had to be a special place. He doesn’t want to come here to be mediocre. He wants to come here to win national championships.”
DES MOINES, Iowa ó Iowa State hired Paul Rhoads as its football coach on Saturday, giving the Auburn defensive coordinator and former Cyclones assistant a five-year deal worth $5.75 million.
Rhoads spent last season with the Tigers after serving as Pittsburgh’s defensive coordinator from 2000-07. A native of nearby Ankeny, he was an assistant with the Cyclones under Dan McCarney from 1995-99.
BLACKSBURG, Va. ó Virginia Tech could be without three starters when it plays Cincinnati in the Orange Bowl on New Year’s Day. Coach Frank Beamer said Saturday that left guard Nick Marshman is academically ineligible to play, and two defensive starters are questionable.
Defensive end Jason Worilds has a shoulder injury and linebacker Brett Warren has a torn ACL in his right knee.